The housing crisis has hit every single city across Canada, especially in the last few years. This has affected the ability to buy a house or afford the rising rent that comes with a fast-tracked housing market. It comes as no surprise that Belleville, Prince Edward County, and the Quinte area also has its challenges keeping up with demand for affordable home ownership opportunities. Habitat for Humanity Prince Edward-Hastings (Habitat PEH) believes that everyone deserves a safe and affordable home and not addressing this important issue has a systemic effect seen within our community from mental health to homelessness.
The achievement of home ownership, safe neighborhoods and good schools are top of mind for families in our local community. For decades, local homeowners have had an active voice in the development of their neighborhoods, from walking trails, parks, and so much more for the betterment of all that reside there. During this same time-period, the affordable homeownership gap has grown in our local area, which is why in 1995 Habitat PEH was opened in our local community assist families to bridge the gap to homeownership. Families just like yours, who live and work in our community.
When you bring a community likes ours together, we can achieve amazing results. To date, with the help of local community partners and donors, we have built or renovated 29 homes in the community that resulted in 31 families being able to achieve their goal of buying their first home! Each week we continue to work with municipalities within the Prince Edward County and Hastings regions to identify land that can be used for homes.
So what is Bill 23 and why is it so important?
Bill 23 works with non-profits like Habitat PEH so we can continue to give a hand up to local families by providing them the ability to purchase their first homes. Within Bill 23, there are plans to exempt or defer affordable housing projects from development charges, parkland dedication, & community benefits charges. Exempting Habitat for Humanity homes from these charges allows us to reinvest back into more homes to assist more families. Increasing housing development in turn increases the city’s tax base and allows them to recoup deferred or exempt development charges. Bill 23 might seem like a small change but will assist Habitat PEH as we will be able to help local families into local homes so much faster!
Our work continues….
Research Credit: Christina Potvin